Novak Djokovic has disrupted the no longer existent tennis order! At a time when breaking records has been almost exclusively done by either Rafael Nadal or Roger Federer, along comes Nole roaring his way past EVERYONE causing raucous in every city he plays in!
The Serb just beat Rafa in a final of a Masters 1000 event for the 4th straight time. Djoko now flies to Paris on a 39 match winning streak (since Davis Cup last Dec, 37 in 2011) & with 7 titles to his name this season.
The million dollar question of course is: Who can stop Djokovic at Roland Garros? Wait a minute, I'm confused! Hasn't that been asked about Rafa for the past 6 years?
It is in fact a confusing time for people like me who are die-hard Rafa fans but have also been supporting Djokovic from the start. It's quite painful watching Rafa lose 4 straight finals to Djokovic, twice on the dirt! Then again, what Nole is doing is so phenomenal that it transcends any personal preferences or allegiances.
The Serb who turns 24 a week from today is achieving something that neither Federer nor Rafa have managed to achieve. And that is ridiculously difficult simply because Rafa and Fed have shattered so many records and accomplished countless astonishing feats, you'd think there's nothing left to be broken.
Not only is Djokovic beating everyone but the way he is doing it is what's truly admirable! He's dominated regardless of the surface and irrespective of the size of the tournament. Whether it's the Australian Open, an ATP 250 event in Belgrade, or a Madrid final against Rafa on clay with a Spanish home crowd against him, Djokovic has not faltered.
Whether he's on the receiving end of Murray serving for the match in a Rome semifinal, or he's lost the first set of a final to someone like Nadal in Miami, the response has been equally mind-blowing.
The frequently tired, quick to retire, mentally-compromised player Djokovic often was, is now a VERY distant memory and no one doesn't like a story of an epic transformation! Even Rafa fans who are suffering from those Novak beat-downs.
So what am I currently hoping for? As a Rafa fan, I'm hoping Rafa does what he does best. Work harder to improve and figure out a way to beat Djokovic, the same way Djokovic has figured out a way to beat him at his very own game.
As a tennis fan am hoping Djokovic pushes everyone to extend themselves the same way Federer did to his chasers throughout his years of dominance. Many argue that Rafa wouldn't have been Rafa without the presence of Federer in the lead. Perhaps Djokovic will have a similar effect on those trailing him in the rankings and that way it's not important who you're supporting because in the end, tennis wins :)